Whether you’re celebrating a major milestone or simply want to have an extra-special party, these tips from event planners can help you create a totally terrific bash.
A benefit of hiring an event planner is they develop a rapport with vendors and venues and can offer discounts. Event planners have a list of clients they continually work with, which saves families the time and effort of doing their own research. “I represent a potential party every weekend, so although most people want to make customers happy, [vendors] want to make me happy because I bring them repeated business,” Imberman says.
Adjust the party to your child’s personality.
Some kids may be outgoing and want the spotlight on them, and some may just want to lie low. Never force your child into a situation that would make him unhappy. The party and vibe should reflect your child’s personality and feel like it’s very much his own party. Mase plans parties for children of all ages and remembers planning a bat mitzvah for a shy girl who did not want a DJ or dancing, so she instead planned a murder mystery theme. “It was a huge success without any dancing,” Mase says. “You have to know your kids—don’t create an event for them that’s not for them.”
Event planners consider everything when putting together a party, from when food will be served to when dancing should start, and serve as liaisons to all moving parts. It’s a smart strategy for families to follow as well. For example, if there will be a candle lighting ceremony or speech, make sure that the first course of a meal will not be served at the same time, because no one will be able to hear what’s being said. If there will be a first dance, it shouldn’t start until after food service, so guests can finish their meals without the food getting cold. “Even if you have the best caterer and the best DJ, they likely will not talk to each other before the day, Imberman says: “I do a very detailed timeline and communicate it with everyone prior rather than running into an issue before the party.”
Consider hiring security.
It’s strongly recommended for sweet 16s, when teenagers may get rowdy. Security can help keep the kids in the party and out of trouble. It's also advisable to have adult chaperones on the buses (if there are any) to monitor the kids.
Let the professionals do their jobs.
If you’re working with an event planner, resist the urge to become very hands-on and micromanage the details. It’s much wiser to trust that your event planner knows what she’s doing. “You’re hiring someone so that you can enjoy and be at your own party,” Mase says. “I have seen times where people undermined their own events because they were not having fun.” There’s no use in worrying about potential problems—that’s what the event planner was hired to solve.
Main image: Morgan I. celebrates her bat mitzvah, planned by The Event of a Lifetime, Inc., with her friends
Peter Oberc Photography